In 2007 a thesis, Mrs. Olga Buckley wrote for a Papiamento course, plants the first seed for what would become a successful reading promotion project. Project ‘Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi’ was launched as a pilot project after various conducted house surveys that provided a clear view of the necessity for the stimulation of reading on Aruba. The project gained popularity and was quickly embraced by the Aruban community.

With the collaboration of the National Library of Aruba, 18 volunteers were recruited enabling the ’Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi’ to reach 144 homes.  As a result  ‘Fundacion Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi‘ (FBNND), a foundation, was officially established in 2009. The overall aim of FBNND is to share the joy of reading with all kids on Aruba. 


The BNDD foundation consist out of three pillars namely; the board, the administrator and the volunteers.

President: Olga Buckley
Vice president: Rubia Bernabela
Secretary: Swinda de Cuba
Treasurer: Jasmin Lacle
Members: Shirley van der Biezen, Martica Lugay
Administrator: Angele Mac Jannet

The volunteer is the heart of the project. FBNND started with mostly school teachers, a very reliable group, but we were constantly focusing on making reading promotion a community issue. We organized motivation campaigns especially for moms and dads and also grandparents to register as volunteer. We are often approached by people who like the project and want to join. We try to be present at public and cultural events. We want the project to be constantly visible.

Point of View

The Foundation’s point of view is based on the theory of reading promotion designed by Aidan Chambers. Accordingly, reading is seen as a circular process in which the adult plays a prominent role.

The adult is considered the intermediary and is able to lead the reading process. In addition, availability accessibility, presentation and attractiveness of books are found crucial for the circular process of reading.


Reading culture on Aruba

Currently Aruba does not experience a strong reading culture due to various factors. First, the instruction language in school and most schoolbooks are in Dutch* resulting in local kids not being able to relate to the language and therefore missing crucial elements of reading such as a story plot or identification with characters. Second, parents often do not have the time to read to their kids even though fifteen minutes of reading before a child goes to bed stimulates an intimate bond between parent and child.

Despite the latter the current global increase in the promotion of reading is positively contributing to the reading climate on the Island. Another positive development has been the introduction of the native language Papiamento as an instruction language in special education and the multilingual pilot schools

Design of the project

Target group
The target group for FBNND is a child between the age of 4 and 8 years. This is considered the most suitable age to create interest in reading. Although it is known that reading can be stimulated from an early age. Despite the set target group the foundation does not deny any children older than 8 or younger than 4 the pleasure of reading.
A second target group is the parent. The foundation tries to encourage assertiveness and stimulates parents to fill out the application form and enroll their children in the project.

The home visits
The home visits are central in the project. Homes are visited simply because it is there where the stimulation and motivation for reading has to take place. FBNND provides parents with tools to motivate and encourage them to read to their children and to step away from the common believe that professionals should do the story telling.

One volunteer visits a maximum of eight home addresses. Home visits take place during the period of one month, twice a year. The first period is from mid May to mid June and the second period is in October. Home visits are initiated by the volunteer who contacts the family by phone. Each home is visited 3 times with the first visit being an orientation visit. The orientation visit is mandatory and enables to volunteer to explain the project’s objective and to get acquainted with the family. 

Afterwards, arrangements are made for the next two story telling sessions. Visits take place during 6pm and 8pm and last 30 min. After the last visit all children receive a canvas bag with a book and a bookmark as a courtesy of the project. In addition, at the end of each home visit forms have to be filled out by parents as well as by the volunteer in order to register important information and to give  crucial feedback.  Currently a total of 3000 homes have been reached by FBNND.


Workshops are an important element of the project and are organized in different phases. Firstly, preparatory workshops are organized in order to prepare volunteers for the task ahead. Secondly, after each story telling period an evaluation session is organized providing the project with critical feedback. A code of conduct is presented during the workshops in order for volunteers to understand that they have to be trustworthy and act accordingly.
Workshops are not only organized for volunteer but also for FBNND board members. Reason being, that the foundation is continuously evaluating its work keeping its mission and vision in mind.

Closing Event
At the end of each story telling year, a big closing event is organized. All kids are invited and are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their families to the festive occasion.  During the closing event various activities are organized such as; story telling, face painting and dramatization, all illustrating the importance of story telling and reading. 

TV Program

A TV program is created after each story telling project and brought out on DVD. The purpose of the TV series is to use television and other electronic devices in an innovative and positive way to further promote the importance of reading.  The TV program is broadcasted on all national TV stations.

Diversification of the project

FBNND aims to stay creative and diverse. In order to comply with this point of view several new activities have been organized;

  • Story-telling: the foundation is often requested to promote story telling at parties and events.
  • Bibliobus:  a mobile library visiting the different districts on the Island (in collaboration with the National Library of Aruba and Belkis Floris).
  • Bust tour: an activity initiated in 2010 focused on story telling centered around a specific theme.
  • The reading quiz, initiated in 2011 focusing on the fifth, sixth and seven graders of the elementary school, with the main objective to help children to go more in depth when they read a book.
  • Reading contest, initiated in 2011 with the main objective of sharing the pleasure of reading, enhancing vocabulary and teaching children to become independent and responsible
  • International visits; FBNDD has gained popularity outside Aruba and has presented its concept to various sister Islands and other countries (such as Curacao, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Eustatius, Surinam and Orlando)

Various events have contributed to the success of FBNND;

  • FBNND head quarters: the Minister of Culture and Social and Economic affairs, Michelle Hooyboer Winklaar, joins the dynamic group of volunteers of FBNDD to visit homes and grants to foundation its own office space at Oranjestraat 28.
  • Royal visit: in 2012, ‘Fundacion Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi’ is visited by ‘Prinses Laurentien van Oranje’. Prinsess Laurentien is well known in the Netherlands for her efforts to promote reading.
  • The Story Telling Fair: in July of 2013 FBNND launched a Story Telling Fair. This successful family event was organized in collaboration with CEDEHM an organization promoting women’s rights for development.

FBNND Partners

FBNND has had to honor to work with diverse international and national partners. These partners are amongst others:

  • Biblioteca Nacional Aruba
  • Cede-Aruba and Samenwerkende Fondsen  
  • Prins Bernhard Fonds
  • Stichting Kultura  Mondriaan Fonds
  • Government of Aruba


In 2009 year FBNDD received a token of recognition from ACURIL; the Caribbean Society of Librarians
In 2010 FBNDD received the ‘Prins Bernhard Kultuur Prijs’ for reading promotion
In 2011 we received the ‘Premio Chuchubi’ from Fundacion Lanta Papiamento
In 2012 we received the ‘Oorkonde Oranje Appels’ from The Netherlands
In 2013 we were nominated for the ‘Premio Teatro’ from ‘Grupo Teatro Arubano

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